|Burmese Buddhists bitterly hated Muslim Ko Ni for his|
relentless demands to change the Constitution.
The assassin knew that U Ko Ni was returning from an official visit to Indonesia where he had held meetings with Buddhist and Muslim religious figures who were involved in addressing tensions in Arakan State. The group aimed to draw on lessons from Indonesia’s past that could be applied to the current ethnic and religious tension in Burma.
As U Ko Ni waited on the sidewalk for a car to pick him up, the assassin approached from behind and shot him at point blank into back of his head. The assassin tried to run away but was subsequently caught by a group of brave taxi drivers and security police at Yangon International Airport.
Police have named the suspect as Kyi Lin and said that he is from Kyaukme in Shan State and previously served seven years in prison. He is now in police custody. The assassin’s precise motives remain unknown, and it is unclear if the gunman had any external support, or whether he simply worked alone.